Zenfox T3 Triple channel dash cams free test invitation, limited quantity

HonestReview

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It's pretty clear to everyone except Nigel (and possibly Trump too) that the heat path here isn't optimal if it works much at all- the 'pink goo' that none of us have ever seen and the tape interference is the clue to this. There's enough knowledge and experience about the subject here to be quite certain of this. But as I suggested it is something better proven by doing if one of you can because it's also equally clear that Zenfox does not think there is a problem so he's not going to be looking for a solution without it being shown to him in a way he cannot ignore :(

Phil
I would like to give @Zenfox_Official the benefit of the doubt, but his silence isn't helping the matter.
 

EGS

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I'm sure Zenfox is been reading and watching this tread more than frequently and quite sure they are getting input trough a back channel by one of testers. Perhaps they have chosen to bypass this channel. Why going limp all the sudden?
 

HonestReview

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I'm sure Zenfox is been reading and watching this tread more than frequently and quite sure they are getting input trough a back channel by one of testers. Perhaps they have chosen to bypass this channel. Why going limp all the sudden?
He posted his invitational on at least Reddit, too. Not sure if other places as well. https://www.reddit.com/r/Dashcam/comments/gnt4ar
I'm really waiting to see if he comes back with a solution before exhausting money or trying to Mcgyver either of the T3 units. If it becomes apparent we're left in the dark, then I'll gladly start trying solutions.

I've built pcs and know computer hardware, but I've never really messed with pcb / circuit boards. Soldering / Desoldering / Replacing caps is something I have no experience doing. So if it becomes apparent this is my only option, I'll give desoldering that small joint with a wick a try and order a copper plate + artic silver. As nothing to lose then trying it out on 2nd unit.
 

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He posted his invitational on at least Reddit, too. Not sure if other places as well. https://www.reddit.com/r/Dashcam/comments/gnt4ar
I'm really waiting to see if he comes back with a solution before exhausting money or trying to Mcgyver either of the T3 units. If it becomes apparent we're left in the dark, then I'll gladly start trying solutions.

I've built pcs and know computer hardware, but I've never really messed with pcb / circuit boards. Soldering / Desoldering / Replacing caps is something I have no experience doing. So if it becomes apparent this is my only option, I'll give desoldering that small joint with a wick a try and order a copper plate + artic silver. As nothing to lose then trying it out on 2nd unit.
I'm still trying to determine the proper thickness for a copper filler. As a matter of a fact, I'm working on it right now.
I have finally separated the aluminum block from the emi lid, and......
 

HonestReview

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My suggestion:

Scrape off all that gunk. Apply Artic Silver. If you don't mind spending around $7.00 + Shipping (or free if you have prime). Order these and you'll get a selection of copper plates to see which size fits best?? Seems though these only cover the actual CPU itself which should be fine though.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/B01N2XYFJ4

  • Thermal heatsink copper pad
  • Size: 15*15mm; 5 Thickness: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.2mm
  • Easy installation, good heat dissipation effect
  • Suitable for Laptop GPU CPU
  • Pack of 25, 5 for each thickness
1594059574547.png
 
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Nigel

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The metal tape probably conducts heat quite well, but is it glued on by acrylic double sided sticky?

It seems you could perfectly well stick the heatsink on first and then stick the tape to the heatsink, at one end it has a flat area for doing so, under the supercaps.

I still think the biggest improvement will be removing the pink stuff and replacing it with a largeish heat spreader with minimal paste, to get the heat to the whole of the heatsink. The steel case and aluminium heatsink will not be good at spreading the heat.
 

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The metal tape probably conducts heat quite well, but is it glued on by acrylic double sided sticky?

It seems you could perfectly well stick the heatsink on first and then stick the tape to the heatsink, at one end it has a flat area for doing so, under the supercaps.

I still think the biggest improvement will be removing the pink stuff and replacing it with a largeish heat spreader with minimal paste, to get the heat to the whole of the heatsink. The steel case and aluminium heatsink will not be good at spreading the heat.
Yes, the metal tape is electrical and heat conductive but I rather not see it placed like that. A huge mistake is where they added a piece of the black acrylic tape in both ends creating a larger gap and that tape is definitely not a god thermal conductive medium. Also those huge air pockets are not good at all.
 

EGS

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My suggestion:

Scrape off all that gunk. Apply Artic Silver. If you don't mind spending around $7.00 + Shipping (or free if you have prime). Order these and you'll get a selection of copper plates to see which size fits best?? Seems though these only cover the actual CPU itself which should be fine though.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/B01N2XYFJ4

  • Thermal heatsink copper pad
  • Size: 15*15mm; 5 Thickness: 0.3mm, 0.5mm, 0.8mm, 1mm, 1.2mm
  • Easy installation, good heat dissipation effect
  • Suitable for Laptop GPU CPU
  • Pack of 25, 5 for each thickness
View attachment 52528
Will consider that.
 

kamkar1

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Arctic silver are also conductive as i recall.

Those cobber disks, well they confuse me, they will conduct heat okay, but if it have no fins on the non contact side it have the same area to dissipate heat as it have to pick up heat on the other side.

If the EMI shield are too tall to make contact with the SOC i would rather take it to my friends house and use his bench disk grinder to take some off the EMI shield.

BUT ! i do think they put that pink stuff in under the EMI shield, and gave it a good thumb, and then seeing the EMI shield was hovering one / some mm over the PCB, they pushed down that one corner and soldered it in place.
 

kamkar1

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Ever the geek as i am, i would probably make a hole in the right place, the exact size for the heat sink ( maybe a larger hole if i replaced heat sing with larger one, and then i would slide over the EMI shield and in to a position where it would be in just the right height, and then i would solder it in place all around.
And then my heat sink would be in direct contact with the SOC, and the heat generated by it would go strait into the heat sink.

And i might well change the ALU heat sink for a all copper one
 

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@EGS WOW! That's very sloppy work under the heatsink, totally low quality :( As to the thickness of the spacer, anything above the components will be fine; the key is to have everything contacting each other as well as it possible so if you get that right, the heat will transfer through the spacer more than adequately enough. A little extra thickness won't have much effect on the end result (y)

Phil
 
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HonestReview

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Arctic silver are also conductive as i recall.

Those cobber disks, well they confuse me, they will conduct heat okay, but if it have no fins on the non contact side it have the same area to dissipate heat as it have to pick up heat on the other side.

If the EMI shield are too tall to make contact with the SOC i would rather take it to my friends house and use his bench disk grinder to take some off the EMI shield.

BUT ! i do think they put that pink stuff in under the EMI shield, and gave it a good thumb, and then seeing the EMI shield was hovering one / some mm over the PCB, they pushed down that one corner and soldered it in place.
You misunderstand. You place the copper disks under the heat shield and directly on the cpu. The whole purpose of ordering the kit that contains 5 thicknesses. To see which one will fit under the shield without causing the heatsink to be too tall to seal the case.

CPU ---> Artic Silver (Mk-4 is non conductive. Artic Silver 5 is conductive - not sure which is best) --> Copper Plate--> Artic Silver --> Heatshield - Artic Silver --> plate with tape ---> Artic Silver --> Heatsink.
 
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HonestReview

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Ever the geek as i am, i would probably make a hole in the right place, the exact size for the heat sink ( maybe a larger hole if i replaced heat sing with larger one, and then i would slide over the EMI shield and in to a position where it would be in just the right height, and then i would solder it in place all around.
And then my heat sink would be in direct contact with the SOC, and the heat generated by it would go strait into the heat sink.

And i might well change the ALU heat sink for a all copper one
While a sound idea, the emi plate looks very thin. So I worry that any attempts to cut might distort the shape of the plate. Meaning it can't be mounted back on properly. @EGS can weigh in here on his thoughts.
 
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Nigel

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A huge mistake is where they added a piece of the black acrylic tape in both ends creating a larger gap and that tape is definitely not a god thermal conductive medium.
Definitely a rather silly mistake!
I suspect they may have heat tested it before adding the tape under the heatsink!

Those cobber disks, well they confuse me, they will conduct heat okay, but if it have no fins on the non contact side it have the same area to dissipate heat as it have to pick up heat on the other side.
The processor probably has a hot spot above each core, the copper will spread the heat from the hot spots over the whole of the heatsink if the copper is big enough, think of the copper like a heat pipe, it is to transfer the heat from the hot places to the cooler places.

And i might well change the ALU heat sink for a all copper one
Bad idea, when you don't have a fan, aluminium is best for the heatsink, copper for the base/heat spreader.

Ever the geek as i am, i would probably make a hole in the right place, the exact size for the heat sink
We only have about 2 watts of heat, it is not worth doing!
 

kamkar1

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Yes the thickness of the EMI shild worry me too, you are not going to get a clamp down connection like a cooler on a CPU.
It is probably also why a thermal pad was usd, CUZ i think they are in all setups like this, even if you solder down the EMI shield in every availebel spot it is quite thin and flexible.
 

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Thickness plays no part here- only how well you get the processor fully covered and how directly you get the heat transferred to the heat-sink. Full contact can be achieved through clamping or gluing and that will maintain the full contact throughout any heat range in operation. Direct heat transfer means the least amount of parts between the processor and the heat sink. We need the EMI shield and possibly a spacer, nothing else should be in there. IT IS THAT SIMPLE so don't make it complicated or you'll never get anything done.

Ideally there would be nothing between the heatsink and the processor, but as long as the above is done well with only copper or aluminum involved (and of course thermal epoxy or paste) there will be hardly any difference between methods. It's the mechanics that matter most, and any copper or any aluminum will net you almost everything which can be achieved with this system as long as the processor is completely covered and there is as direct and good a thermal path to the heatsink as is reasonably possible.

You can be stupid and chase your tail trying to get the last 1% or 2% of perfection going which will not show up in actual use or go into production for reasons of cost and complexity or you can simply jump in and do something adequate for nearly the same gains in such a way that the methods can be put into production for minimal cost and minimal trouble, as that is all Zenfox or any other sane person would even consider here.

Phil
 
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HonestReview

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Thickness plays no part here- only how well you get the processor fully covered and how directly you get the heat transferred to the heat-sink. Full contact can be achieved through clamping or gluing and that will maintain the full contact throughout any heat range in operation. Direct heat transfer means the least amount of parts between the processor and the heat sink. We need the EMI shield and possibly a spacer, nothing else should be in there. IT IS THAT SIMPLE so don't make it complicated or you'll never get anything done.

Ideally there would be nothing between the heatsink and the processor, but as long as the above is done well with only copper or aluminum involved (and of course thermal epoxy or paste) there will be hardly any difference between methods. It's the mechanics that matter most, and any copper or any aluminum will net you almost everything which can be achieved with this system as long as the processor is completely covered and there is as direct and good a thermal path to the heatsink as is reasonably possible.

You can be stupid and chase your tail trying to get the last 1% or 2% of perfection going which will not show up in actual use or go into production for reasons of cost and complexity or you can simply jump in and do something adequate for nearly the same gains in such a way that the methods can be put into production for minimal cost and minimal trouble, as that is all Zenfox or any other sane person would even consider here.

Phil
If I recall, you're an electrician. What thermal paste is recommended to apply to the CPU and Copper Plate? Artic Silver 5 (Conductive Metal Paste) or Artic MX 4 ( does not contain any metallic particles so electrical conductivity would not be an issue.)
 

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I would use one of the ceramic based ones, i think even regular white goo are better than any thermal pad.

You have to be a little vigilant, some thermal pastes wear out, the liquid metal i for one use are recommended to replace every year, but you can of course get pastes also good ones that last much longer / as long as you need it to last.
I have myself used arctic silver for a decade if not more, but i want to try something new when i rebuild my desktop soon, and thats for both the CPU block ( Heatkiller IV in full copper / 900 grams )
And the full cover Alphacool for my 5700XT,,,,, also full cover aside for the acrylic lid ( will have to use thermal pads for RAM and power stages as thats the norm on all GFX coolers, aftermarket or not )

Will be using the same paste on the 2 processors.



 

HonestReview

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I would use one of the ceramic based ones, i think even regular white goo are better than any thermal pad.

You have to be a little vigilant, some thermal pastes wear out, the liquid metal i for one use are recommended to replace every year, but you can of course get pastes also good ones that last much longer / as long as you need it to last.
I have myself used arctic silver for a decade if not more, but i want to try something new when i rebuild my desktop soon, and thats for both the CPU block ( Heatkiller IV in full copper / 900 grams )
And the full cover Alphacool for my 5700XT,,,,, also full cover aside for the acrylic lid ( will have to use thermal pads for RAM and power stages as thats the norm on all GFX coolers, aftermarket or not )

Will be using the same paste on the 2 processors.



I saw where metal compounds can degrade over time. Wondering if trying the Artic MX-4 though is a better solution? Has slightly less conductivity but less risk of degrading.
 
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